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Family asylum and family reunification

Family asylum

Family members of persons entitled to protection also receive asylum.

The following are regarded as family members for the purposes of family asylum:

  • spouses and registered partners,
  • minor, unmarried children,
  • the parents of minor, unmarried persons for the purpose of care and custody,
  • other adults who have personal custody of minor, unmarried persons,
  • the minor, unmarried siblings of minors.

A precondition applying to spouses is for a valid marriage to have already existed in the country of origin, for the asylum application to have been filed prior to or at the same time as that of the person entitled to protection, and at the latest promptly after entry into the country, and for the entitlement to protection not to have been revoked.

This arrangement applies to persons entitled to protection to whom refugee protection or entitlement to asylum has been granted or who have received subsidiary protection. Persons are ruled out with regard to whom a national ban on deportation was found to exist during the asylum procedure.

Born in Germany

When a child is born in Germany after the parents have filed an asylum application, under certain conditions, the legislature provides the possibility of a separate asylum procedure in order to protect the child. For the latter, the parents, at least one of which must still be undergoing the asylum procedure, or the immigration authority, inform the Federal Office of the birth. The asylum application is thus automatically regarded as having been filed in the interest of the newborn child. The parents can put forward their own reasons for asylum for their child. If they do not do so, the parents' reasons apply. Here too, appeals are available should the Federal Office reject the application.

Should the application be turned down, minor children will not be and may not be returned separately from their parents, also in the interest of child protection.

Hervorhebung_Gesetzgebung: The legal basis

Family asylum is regulated in section 26 of the Asylum Act (AsylG).

The legal basis for the children of asylum applicants born in Germany can be found in sections 14 a and 43 subs. 3 sentence 1 of the Asylum Act.

Asylum Act

Family reunification

Persons entitled to protection who are entitled to asylum and to whom refugee status or subsidiary protection has been granted are entitled to privileged family reunification. This means that they do not need to prove that they can support themselves and that they have adequate living space as a precondition for the family members entering the country. This applies to the subsequent immigration of the spouse and of minor, unmarried children. The appropriate application for this must be filed with the German diplomatic representation responsible for the family members’ place of residence within three months after the entitlement to asylum or to protection has been granted. If the application is filed later, there is no entitlement to reunification, but the diplomatic representation decides at its own discretion.

Applications for family reunification to join persons from Syria who are entitled to asylum and to protection should be made electronically via the web portal of the Federal Foreign Office (see link in the right-hand column).

A transitional period of two years applies to persons entitled to subsidiary protection whose residence permit was issued after 17 March 2016. Family reunification is not possible during this period. Family reunification is permitted once again after 16 March 2018. The three-month period for privileged family reunification starts from 16 March 2018 in these cases. The reception of family members on humanitarian grounds remains possible in special hardship cases.

As long as the asylum proceedings are still pending, family reunification is impossible as a matter of principle. If a national ban on deportation was established in the asylum procedure, family reunification is only possible on humanitarian grounds or for other important public reasons.

Hervorhebung_Gesetzgebung: The legal basis

The right to family reunification for persons entitled to protection, as well as the transitional period for those enjoying subsidiary protection and unaccompanied minors, is regulated in the Residence Act.

Residence Act

Date 22 November 2017

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